So, I've been hearing all day about the snow in Ohio. Family, friends, blogs - they all speak of a beautiful snowfall that occurred today. And, here in Hawaii it's 80s and off-again, on-again rain.
Living amidst Paradise, where you can swim in the ocean on New Year's Eve (and it's not a Polar Bear Club swim), do I miss the snow?
. . . . .yes, I do.
Can you believe it? The kids miss it, too. They have been talking about it for the last 2 weeks. "Mom, is it winter here too, or just in Ohio?". "Mom, what will Christmas be like with no snow?".
All my life I have associated winter with snow. I mean, I lived in Ohio until I was 24. In Ohio, there was (and is) a lot of snow in the winter. I remember bundling up so tight and full that I could barely move. Sledding in the schoolyard behind the house. Laughing and making snow angels when school was canceled for the day (or days).
Here in Hawaii, the seasons move - from summer to fall, and fall to winter. Just like everywhere else. But, there are no real weather patterns to mark the changes in the calendar. We don't even have Daylight Savings Time. (Well, November has been a rainy month, and I'm told that last November was the same way. Maybe that's the "sign" that winter is coming.)
Am I obsessed with the Christmas-but-no-snow thing? Maybe a little. Will it ruin our holiday? Most definitely not. One thing I have learned in all these military-related travels, is that you go with the flow.
So, our snow this year is replaced with sand from Bellows Beach. Our winter coats are replaced with bathing suits, and our turkey dinner might just be turkey sandwiches (or hotdogs on the grill)! Our family celebrations will not physically be with our loved ones, but with our new neighbor friends - our Hawaii Ohana. The cards will come, with warm wishes from Home, and those we love and long to be with.
And, despite missing our families, I am really looking forward to putting up the tree and filling the house with the sights, sounds, and smells of Christmas. It is a time like no other.
For those of you who we usually see during the holidays, but won't this year, your are always in our hearts.
For those we haven't seen in a while, or maybe have never even met in person, I hope that this coming holiday season (starting in just a few days!), brings you joy, happiness, love, and togetherness. As you open your gifts and marvel over the new iPod, earrings, or great clothes under the tree, remember the true meaning of Christmas. Remember those who are in your hearts but far from home.
Remember those sacrificing in countries far away, giving their time, their family life, and sometimes their own lives, for our freedoms. For them, a card, a letter, a small box, might just make their day. Their week. Their year. It might make them feel that their sacrifice is worth it.
Visit http://www.anysolider.com/ and find a serviceman/servicewoman to greet this holiday season. Trust me, it means more than just a card and a stamp. It brings hope, faith, and renewed spirit.
Those things mean much, much more than a new iPod, earrings, or clothes under the tree.
Happy Holidays ALL!